Intelligent Document Archive: The Final Step in Exploiting Business Content

February 22, 2022

7 minute read

This post is the last in a four-part weekly series on document transformation for leaders striving to better access and leverage enterprise-wide content.

Enterprise leaders are scrambling to get ahead in an increasingly complex, post-pandemic world. Getting their hands on high-quality business data is the secret sauce to bringing products and services to market faster and better than the competition.

One significant obstacle in leveraging documents is the sheer volume of content most enterprises deal with. The second challenge is the disparity in types of content. Research consistently shows that 80% of data is unstructured, including social media posts, audio streams, images, and text documents, among hundreds of other formats.

Without adequate tools, capturing, transforming, and delivering high-quality content to downstream users securely and in the correct format is out of reach. The final, often overlooked component in the content lifecycle is safe, secure, and accessible long-term document archival.

Both risk and business value within archived information make it an essential component of any business’s overall content strategy.

The Adlib document transformation platform enables professionals to automatically convert documents at scale into searchable, standardized PDF formats with unmatched fidelity. Users will eliminate time and errors associated with manual efforts and streamline how documents are searched, compiled, and shared across silos, systems, and workstreams and stored for future access.

Why Invest In Archiving Data?

The benefits of intelligent data archiving are not as readily quantifiable as transforming and leveraging it. As a result, some companies fall victim to regarding data storage strictly as a cost versus a potential benefit.

Companies increase the long-term value of their content by leveraging high-accuracy OCR to transform documents into PDF and applying rich metadata to make them more easily found, managed, and leveraged.

Intelligent archives provide enterprises with pertinent historical IP to develop new products and services.

When documents have been properly transformed and archived, companies also reduce risk by meeting regulatory requirements with greater ease and confidence. Enterprise leaders across industries can quickly search for, compile, and deliver relevant data to demonstrate their commitment to remaining compliant with complex and ever-changing regulations.


Content Lifecycle - Archive

Archival Use Cases

Savvy leaders will benefit from leveraging archived data. The following use cases demonstrate the value feature-rich, well-archived documents can bring.


Federal law in the U.S. states that banks must keep customer documents for five years after a closed account. The large volumes of data banks are grappling with, including customer onboarding, opening accounts, credit card processing, and mortgage lending, make quickly retrieving compliance-related information difficult. Institutions spend significant resources manually locating specific data from documents to demonstrate compliance.

By transforming customer information from anywhere in a company, including email, ECM, and CRM systems, banks can automatically surface and deliver archival data to demonstrate compliance and reduce errors associated with manual processing.

Life Sciences

Medical records archival standards vary by country and state but typically range from six years in the U.S. to ten years in Canada. There are several reasons medical facilities are expected to retain patient records, including tracking the course of patient treatments, sharing test results and treatment protocols with other doctors, and investigating cases of medical negligence. Immediate access to precise information is required to meet patient needs regulatory changes or respond quickly to legal discovery inquiries.

There are other reasons why saving documents for the long term is beneficial. The FDA requires 30 years of storage for medical and research records on cancer patients. Scientists endeavoring to uncover the right compound to create a life-saving cancer treatment drug can tap into a vast body of research to find answers. If documents haven’t been made searchable or enriched with key metadata, scientists are looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.

Oil & Gas

Beyond meeting various records management regulations across the energy sector, rigorous document archival practices can also encourage new lines of business. For instance, enterprises in the oil and gas industry are known to purchase plots of land, drill for potentially valuable materials, and gather core samples. As long as historical documents and records are accessible and have been appropriately managed, future technological innovations may allow a company to capitalize on a resource previously considered not valuable.

For instance, a 34-mile long cobalt field was recently discovered in Idaho. As more attention is given to cutting carbon emissions to slow climate change, innovators are looking for new minerals to build electric cars, smartphones, and power tools. If an energy company had discovered cobalt in the ground 50 years ago, they might have passed over it as cobalt didn’t hold the same value as it does today. As markets change or the world evolves, tapping into historical IP might reveal a viable new revenue stream.

PDF/A as the Global Archival Standard
Thanks to the PDF/A format, it is never too late to transform documents and legacy files into an accessible resource. PDF/A is a subset of the PDF standard managed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). As a globally recognized standard for long-term document archival, it provides companies with the only guarantee that their archived data will be accessible for the long term.

PDF/A ensures that an ISO-compliant viewer will always be available to access your content, no matter where it is stored.

PDF/A also enables better records management. Leveraging OCR to make content searchable and enriching it with metadata means the correct information can be quickly captured and utilized by anyone in an organization. A comprehensive records management process gives companies greater control over whether documents are stored indefinitely or deleted when they become obsolete.

The Final Verdict

Archiving documents is nothing but a burden if companies simply dump content into storage. Forward-thinking leaders understand that intelligent archival completes the cycle of a robust content lifecycle. Adlib’s document transformation platform automatically captures, manages, and delivers intelligent content to downstream workflows and ensures a solid long-term document archive strategy. When companies replace scattered, manually driven archival efforts with intelligent automation, they take full advantage of the wealth of information right under their noses.

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